Technology fun fact: Have you ever wondered why QWERTY keyboards are laid out the way they are?
When typewriters were the primary “word processor,” the QWERTY keyboard was implemented because it spaces out the most commonly used letters, slowing down the typist and hopefully eliminating the possibility of keys sticking together—if all of the letters in “the” were all placed right next to each other, someone typing quickly might not think to slow down, and all of the letters would jam.
These days, there is no longer a need for the QWERTY keyboard to be laid out in this manner. We continue to use it because it’s convenient and it would be a hassle to learn something new. A lot of technology is like this: we stick with it because it feels comfortable, not because it best satisfies our needs.
Now the keyboard layout does not currently have a negative impact on everyday functionality. But, in many cases, old or outdated technology can cause serious problems, and more and more people and businesses are realizing this.
New Survey Explores Current Payment Technologies
This year, BillingTree surveyed property managers and HOAs (each making up 50% of the survey pool) to gather insight into what challenges they face, and what solutions they have explored for payment collections. The survey provides a look at “the current state of the industry in terms of payment channels, payment technologies, challenges and opportunities for property management service providers.”
The CAM Industry is Behind
We've spoken before about how the CAM industry has to play catch-up with technology, and BillingTree’s results back that up. Currently, CAM managers are universally accepting payments via phone with a live agent, with half also accepting in-person payments, and half providing an online payment portal. This means that all of the surveyed managers are still relying on employees to handle this time-consuming payment collection method, and is the main pain point community association management companies are looking to address in their payment collections.
Half of those surveyed said that they had plans to augment or enhance their payment collections in the future using web channels, mobile applications, and 24/7 IVR (automated phone support). BillingTree believes that those who choose to adopt web portal payment technology to increase efficiency may leap frog other industries by adopting mobile and IVR collection options.
Everyone Is Trying the Same Solutions To Fix Problems
In terms of overall company success, those surveyed cited compliance regulations and the economy as their top challenges, followed by lawsuits and the state of the property management industry, and increased costs and property/community maintenance.
What does all of that mean? According to BillingTree, it’s kind of a domino effect. Broader economic concerns breed worry over the state of the property management industry and rising costs. Not only are community association managers fighting market forces out of their control, they’re doing so while also “navigating and mitigating legal and compliance risks.” It’s a lot to juggle, and appears to be an across-the-board problem.